|A bit warm for aged puerh these days.|
This tea is a local craft bamboo stuffed tea, so as with other bamboo stored teas the leaves are highly compressed. Dry storage on this one, and the tea arrived with a nice sweet-dry fragrance exhibiting the appropriate humidity levels. I don't smell any bamboo storage odors or anything dusty, so puerh-sk's storage is very attentive. Not too often I get an aged tea that doesn't need airing. Selected 6 grams for brewing, mostly the loose tea to save the bigger chunks for later.
|Tea steep >5 with the storage poured off.|
This tea has lots of warmth in the throat and stomach. I get the same warmth from older made-for-Tibet teas, and older Xiaguan before 2006. It's more than just aging, I think tea leaves are just different now. Flavor-wise, however, I'm not noticing much huigan. The bitterness in the tea itself is changing over, but right now the stage of fermentation combined with the smokiness is just at a sour point. It is in-between the bitter young years and sweeter aged years. Which means this is a good tea for me to work on with my crocks, I can rely on the body effects being there because the tea is not flat and dead, all I have to do is work out the smoke which takes a year or so and then wait for the leaves to continue to ferment. Perhaps this tea will be nice and sweet, well on its way now. I will revisit this sample in a year to see if I've worked out the smoke. The leaves show promise with a few thicker stems, and small, but plushy leaves.
I can't say this is a great tea right now nor recommend everyone run and pick some up. Or that it will ever be a great tea. Or that it is worth the premium price tag to just to have Lao Ban Zhang in the name. Still, if you're visiting puerh-sk on a teaware hoarding mission and want to add something to your cart, a sample of this might fit the bill.